Why we have to record ourselves?

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
I guess since I do it so much I don't understand about all the brain power some of you are talking about. When I am cutting tracks, I'm thinking about parts sometimes or I'm thinking about what I want for lunch. I am listening more than using my brain to play. I just listen to the music and my body reacts to that.
Seems you can't relate to the issue because you no longer experience the difference between what you hear while playing and the playback. Yet you obviously has the same issue before you went pro.
 

Joe Morris

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Seems you can't relate to the issue because you no longer experience the difference between what you hear while playing and the playback. Yet you obviously has the same issue before you went pro.
I would say that is a correct statement except for the "before you went pro" thing. I still had it going on even when my sole income came from drumming. I just kept at it and like anything practice makes perfect. Certainly not perfect but much much better. Even as a pro things come up you have to adapt to. Example: I had been a studio touring drummer for many years before I started touring with Esteban. Then all of a sudden he's on TV all the time. Talk shows, letterman, and of course the home shopping network on a monthly basis selling his guitars and cd's. I had to adapt then to having a tv camera in my face all the time. That took some time for me to get used to for sure. At first I got really really nervous because I was thinking god there are millions of people watching this and of course other drummers. I would really be freaking out. My stomach always got upset before I went on air. Now, it dosen't bother me at all. Now I embrace it and have fun with it. So no matter what level your on things will always come up that you have to adapt your brain and body to.

Another case in point was when I would do drum clinics. Oh my god, i used to get so freaking nervous. You know a lot of drummmers are coming to drum clinics like fans at a nascar race, their all waiting for a crash!!! LOL. Nothing prepared me for that, I just had to get used to it and my good friend Mr. Roy Burns from Aquarian Drum heads in once sentence cured my fear. I was telling him on the phone about how nervous I was getting doing clinics and back then I was doing quite a few. He said "who cares if you don't play that great at a drum clinic, Drummers aren't gong to hire you anyway". LOL>
 

DrumDoug

Senior Member
I think some people are missing the point of the question. I know recording helps. That's why I do it. I wanted thoughts on why it sounds different when you listen to the recording than it sounded when played it? Every one knows this happens, otherwise there would not be so manny comments about how useful is to record yourself. I'm just curious as to why? What makes us unable to hear things when we are playing that seem so obvious on a recording?
 

Joe Morris

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
I think some people are missing the point of the question. I know recording helps. That's why I do it. I wanted thoughts on why it sounds different when you listen to the recording than it sounded when played it? Every one knows this happens, otherwise there would not be so manny comments about how useful is to record yourself. I'm just curious as to why? What makes us unable to hear things when we are playing that seem so obvious on a recording?
Ok so I make sure I understand this totally are you talking about the way your drums sound or the drum part itself. ?
 

Numberless

Platinum Member
I think some people are missing the point of the question. I know recording helps. That's why I do it. I wanted thoughts on why it sounds different when you listen to the recording than it sounded when played it? Every one knows this happens, otherwise there would not be so manny comments about how useful is to record yourself. I'm just curious as to why? What makes us unable to hear things when we are playing that seem so obvious on a recording?
I think it's cause when playing live you are essentially multitasking, you're listening to the rest of the band, thinking about the song you're playing and a bunch of other stuff, you just cannot give your full attention to how you sound.
 

Boomka

Platinum Member
Recording yourself is one of the only short circuits we have for the audience/teacher feedback system. I think we do have to be careful how we approach listening to recordings of ourselves, however. Practice is practice, and while it should be scrutinized, there are no consequences to screwing up. In fact, it's encouraged.

I've caught myself - and students - using recordings to punish myself and unwittingly reinforce negative thought patterns and tension in my playing. "Playing for the microphone" can distract us from what we need to be doing. I do record myself, but I also do some practicing without the microphone on to allow myself the freedom to play some clams knowing that after they're played, they simply disappear into the aether.
 

gunar

Member
To answer your question, you can hear it... But you have to record yourself and examine what you do from an objective prospective until you understand the how similar they really are and how they work together.

I've always torn my own recordings apart, trying to learn my mistakes. If you listen to yourself mess up a song a few times.. You'll be way more inclined to play the song correctly the next time. Or at least I am.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I wanted thoughts on why it sounds different when you listen to the recording than it sounded when played it?
That's easy, your perceptions were different. it's a fact that when you first listen to yourself, you sound different that you expected. Way different usually. Bad different usually. When you are playing, you are behind the drums, trying to play, using your brain to play your instrument, listening to everyone while trying to play with them...when you listen back later, you have all this excess brainpower to listen deeper, to listen to what you actually came out of you. The idea is hear it as if you were listening back, while playing it. Recording yourself develops your "listening" muscle. It also helps you reconcile what you thought you played, to what actually came out.

It's all about hearing what is actually coming out of you. The reason there is a gap is your own perceptions.
 

toddy

Platinum Member
I think some people are missing the point of the question. I know recording helps. That's why I do it. I wanted thoughts on why it sounds different when you listen to the recording than it sounded when played it? Every one knows this happens, otherwise there would not be so manny comments about how useful is to record yourself. I'm just curious as to why? What makes us unable to hear things when we are playing that seem so obvious on a recording?
it doesn't. it sounds exactly the same.
my practice sessions last for 2 hours recorded (audio & video), i watch them back later and pick out any nice grooves i may have played by random and stick them straight into songs... very efficient.
 

Xero Talent

Silver Member
What makes us unable to hear things when we are playing that seem so obvious on a recording?
I think of it as two parts of the brain competing. You have the technical side of the brain that is focused on playing technically correct. Then you've got the emotional side, the one that "feels" the song.

In my opinion, when you're "feeling" the song, you often are oblivious to any technical flaws because they "don't exist" in the realm of the emotions of the song - kind of like free improvisation.

However once you bring your focus back to the technical aspect, you tighten it up technically. I think that's why when we are recording in the studio, our "technical brain" is in use, but on stage we are playing emotionally. Thus, when we play back the studio recording, it's familiar, but when we play back the stage recording, there are often surprises (good and bad).

That doesn't necessarily mean the two can't exist simultaneously. I think once one reaches that point at which they play technically sound while playing emotionally, then you've become a true master of your instrument.
 
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